Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Kelis (Yes Kelis) Teaches You How To Cook Like A Champ

Kelis (Yes Kelis) Teaches You How To Cook Like A Champ

The Debrief: The musician turned food genius tells us how not to be failures in the kitchen

You all know Kelis as a superstar singer, rapper and all round babe. But did you also know that she is also a banging chef? Yep. Learning bits and bobs from her mum when she was younger (She makes it look so effortless. She’s not a cook, she’s an artist’ she tells us when we spoke to her last week about her new cookbook My Life On A Plate. Mid-music career, Kelis decided to channel her energy into cooking too and ended up graduated from Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. To put that crazy feat into context, that’s like Gordon Ramsay managing to win a Grammy. In other words, never gonnna happen.

Since Kelis is obviously one of the best people in the world and been knocking about in the pop world since we were old enough to sing along in time to the radio, we decided she’d be an excellent person to ask for advice. And, seeing as we’re terrible at cooking and she seems to be rather good at it, we decided to get a crash course in being a culinary genius from the lady herself.

Kelis (Yes Kelis) Teaches You How To Cook Like A Champ

Here’s her best tips.

If you’re nervous about cooking for a group, stay simple

‘I think that one pot dishes are a really good start. They’re healthy, and you can have chicken or lamb or beef or whatever! It’s one pot dishes like stew that are good. Braising things is a really good way to begin. Then you can toss in vegetables to make it hearty and healthy. You can use brown rice and barley or bulgar wheat, quinoa… Can’t go wrong!'

Make sure there’s a few things you’ve always got in your kitchen

'Salt and pepper obviously! But I love paprika. I think it’s highly underrated. I love it; there’s so many different kinds and flavours – especially when you’re cooking with meat.'

You can cook midweek

'Again I’ve got to go back to those one pot meals. A pot of stew and rice or barley because it’s easy and not sacrificing health for time. I have like a chicken or lamb or whatever I have in the freezer.  It can be tomato based or stock based.'

The world is full of amazing places to visit just for the food

I would say Puerto Rico – the food there is exquisite. Singapore is a great food hub for sure. There’s amazing food there like really interesting fruits and things. Thailand obviously and Bali have really well known exquisite foods. It’s a great experience to go. Penang is also really fabulous – go on one of their food tours.

Get yourself a damn food processor

I’m obsessed with food processors! Every kitchen needs one. Even if it’s one of those small ones. Just go get one!

Knives aren’t all that though

'I used to think (spending a lot of money on knives was important). I love knives but I feel like you can get a decent knife without breaking the bank. It’s more about caring for them; don’t put them in the dishwasher or leave them in the sink and make sure you keep it sharp.'

Experiement with weird combinations

'I wouldn’t know if other people find my combinations weird! For me they’re not weird. Things like the salted potato chip cookies  that I’ve got in my book. Lots of people think that's weird. But they work!'

You can never go wrong with onions

'I love onions – extremely into onions all of them. Spanish onions, white onion, shallots. Love them all.'

My Life On A Plate: Recipes From Around The World by Kelis is out now.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Things To Buy To Fool Your Dinner Party Guests Into Thinking You’re Grown Up

How To Still Eat Healthily If You've Had To Move Back In With Your Parents

Gizzi Erskine: ‘If You Can Eat Wheat Then For God’s Sake Eat Wheat!’

Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

Tags: Food, Food Glorious Food, Music